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Everything posted by Puffafish

  1. Should have included that in the original post! It's a static one, so multiple short exposures rather than fewer long ones. Though there was a kit once upon a time which was supposed to quite easy to convert my mount to motorised which may be bought if I get into it.
  2. Over the winter I got into playing with a phone mount on my telescope eyepiece and got some pictures of the moon... But not much else as there are always limitations on what a phone camera can do (and how well I can align the camera to the eyepiece). If I was to upgrade to a camera to mount onto my scope, what should I be looking for? I have been tempted to give it a go with whatever I can find on ebay or similar, but don't want to buy something only to discover that it's lacking something important. The only thing I know to look for at the moment is to make sure there is a suitable mounting ring for the camera (a T ring I believe they're called). My targets will probably be: Orion nebular, Jupiter and Saturn to start with. This is purely because these are targets I know I can find. Scope: Skywatcher Explorer 130P (650mm focal length, 130mm diameter)
  3. Thanks, that is one of the things I have tried to look for, but not all the EPs seem to give a number to eye relief. I'm guessing that's either because it's tricky to give an accurate number to, or because it shows the EP's weakness maybe. It's a bit like the field of view number, not all EPs seems to advertise that. But at least, when doing planetary viewing, that's less important than it is for DSOs (though will keep the planet in view for longer without having to move the scope).
  4. So I was thinking about carrying out some astrophotography of some of the more esthetically pleasing planets. Due to my budget constraints, I was planning on doing it with my mobile phone, with a suitable mount and eyepiece. As I only have the stock 10mm, and 25mm EPs (and an aftermarket barlow) I was thinking about getting a new eye piece for this. I have a Skywatcher, 130P (130mm diameter, 650mm focal length). I was looking at something like the 6mm Vixen NPL, or the 6mm Baader Classic, BST StarGuider ED (5 or maybe 8mm), Celestron X-Cel LX eyepiece (5 or 7mm), or maybe Sky-Watcher UWA (5, 6 or 7mm). But I've got no idea which would lend itself best for what I am attempting to do. Any advice from the community?
  5. I have wondered about getting a zoom lens, but always thought you compromised on quality to get the zoom action.
  6. Ah right so it is covid related. I did wonder. I heard back in March that something like 70-80% of all screens worldwide are made within Wuhan district, so if you want a TV you may have to wait for a while! (Also had a major impact on my work getting circuit boards made, so I do understand the problem!) Yes I did think 5mm would be good, but I've got a 2x Barlow and a 10mm, so wanted to get something that would give a different sight. Yes, I'd been told that before. I don't want to get a 3mm as that would then be right on the limit, so thought a 6mm would be good, as I can still get to 3mm with the Barlow but I still see an increase from the 10mm
  7. Indeed they do a 7 and 4mm version, but the 4 is apparently on 40 day lead time, which does seem to be quite a common thing at the moment. Has something happened to lens supply?
  8. AHH yes, cost... The good limiting factor in all life decisions. I was wondering about the Baader Classic range which is £49, or the Vixen NPL, which is £38, or the Orion Expanse which was £45. But it may be that I need to spend £100 to get an EP worth getting (in which case I'll wait for now) or I can get a good one for less (which I doubt) The weather has not been good for visual observations recently that is true. Also had issues with trees being right between me and other interesting things! Mars has been quite low in the sky when I've been viewing it, so that won't have helped either.
  9. I was on a thread the other day discussing having a look at Mars. The end result of the conversation was that I may want to get a new eye piece for a higher magnification, around the 6mm range (currently got the stock 10mm and 25mm, along with an aftermarket 2x Barlow). But I am not sure how to choose a good lens. I know the dictionary definition of the various specs used, but not 100% sure what that means in real life. As I'm looking at this particular eye piece for planet watching, I don't think field of view is that important, but I could be wrong. Eye relief is that bit easier; the larger the number the better. As you can hold your eye further away to get a good image. Some EP don't seem to list these stats on the websites, which makes choosing it that bit harder. Is there any advice people can give me? (I have a 130mm diameter, 650mm focal length reflector, from Skywatcher)
  10. Thanks for those ideas, I hadn't considered a filter. Might give that a go! You say the scope should be fine, but I do wonder about getting new EP I know what you mean about keep watching to see more - I learnt that with Saturn and Jupiter! I have been considering a new eye piece, I'm still debating what to get. The 6mm Vixen NPL Eyepieces seem to be sensible to me, as it is a bit more than the cheaper Skywatcher brand, but still within my budget. That'll make it x108 (or x216 with the barlow, which is probably more than is practical with the scope!)
  11. So the other night, for the first time in a long while (moving house, building work, renovations, getting married... Basically life got in the way for about 5 years) I got out my good trusty Skywatcher 130P (I think that's the model anyway) and popped it on my driveway to see what I could see. First problems I've had noticed was that some trees had grown, and were slap bang between me and Saturn and Jupiter. So my original plan wasn't going to happen. Still, I had a look round, admired a couple of clusters and generally had a peer at what was happening. Then, as it's October and Mars is flavour of the month, I swung round to have a look. And I must admit, it was disappointing. I know I only have stock lenses (25mm and 10mm) along with a 2x Barlow, but I was kind of hoping to see more than a "bit of an off white dot" as my wife put it. I was looking at it pretty low in the sky, so lots of atmosphere. Using stock, rather than posh expensive, lenses. But I was still hoping for something more. Am I being too optimistic for seeing more from Mars with my equipment? I have been meaning to get myself something in the range of a higher end eyepiece, but not sure where's best to spend my money as far as that is concenred.
  12. I started out as an absolute beginner earlier in the year, and bought myself the Skywatcher 130P. From an optics point of view it is very similar to the Heritage 130P (130 aperture, parabolic mirror), while the heritage has the simpler Alt-Az mount. The optics of mine are good enough to see the bands on Jupiter, Saturn's rings, the Orion Nebula (though pointing my scope at it was the challenge the first time, but you live and learn) and no doubt many other things I've not found yet. As you're in London, with limited space, have you considered spending more and getting a refractor instead of the reflector? Smaller, easier to move devices, and smaller apertures mean less issue with light pollution. Only costs tend to be higher. Going to the alt-az will pretty much stop you doing any photography, but that isn't an issue unless you suddenly want to take picture of DSOs. One other thing I'd note is that as the Heritage is an open tube, you might find it even more susceptible to all the light pollution. However, if you're going to plan your stargazing to be somewhere darker, then the heritage sounds perfect to me: small and mobile (alt-az mount making set up a breeze!).
  13. Thanks for the comments guys! Was a nice view of Jupiter, and diffraction from the spider makes sense; didn't notice it when looking at M42, and don't remember noticing it when viewing Saturn earlier in the year. It is quite possible that I wasn't pointing quite the right direction, I think my problem was that I got distracted by Jupiter, and then clouds started to roll in, so didn't have long to correct my aiming. As for Mrlangston's comment about what I saw on Jupiter; yes, that's roughly what I saw! Using a 10mm lens and a 2.5 barlow.
  14. I noticed the very good "What Will I see?" thread, but thought I'd share my experience of a second observing session. For the first time since I got my scope, I braved the scarey outside world in order to use the EQ mount properly as I went to see Jupiter. Very minor issues with getting it in the scope (I just need to remember to lower the tripod! Surprising how low you need it, even when you're a tall person) I managed to get a pretty good view of Jupiter's stripey Christmas jumper. There were at least 5 clear bands; two whiteish, two redish. And I could see two of the moons (Ganymede and Io), apparently I should have been able to just about see Europa, but I must admit I didn't notice anything. (Though part of me thinks I may have just been able to make out the Red Spot, but I'm pretty sure that's just my mind getting over zealous) Later on I turned my scope to point to M42, and could see a good collection of stars, but for the life of me, I could not find the fuzzy smug of the nebula itself (could easily be viewing conditions I suppose). (That was with just the 25mm lens) When viewing Jupiter I did notice 4 quite strong white smokey streaks coming out of it. I'm assuming this would be due to my telescope needing Collimation? Or is it due to the stock lenses? Also, I noticed that when Jupiter was drifting towards the edge of the eye piece, it started to de-focus noticeably. Would this also be due to lack of collimation? Or "feature" of cheap eye pieces? ------------------------------------------------------- Scope: Focal Length: 650mm Aperture: 130mm Lenses: 10mm (stock) 25mm (stock) Barlow: Baader Classic Q 2.25x Barlow
  15. A couple of weeks back I was in deepest darkest Dorset, with some pretty good skies. As I didn't have my 'scope with me, I used my camera to try and get some shots of a few of the more obvious things; Cassiopeia, Orion, the belt of the Milky-Way. These pictures didn't turn out too well, which was partly due to me, partly due to the camera but mainly due to the camera not pointing in the right place! Using a tripod and long exposure (10-15 seconds), I managed to get some clear shots of the stars, but none of what I wanted. Using the view-finder or the LCD screen, all I saw was black, as there just wasn't enough light for the camera to pick anything up, so I couldn't aim it properly. So, can anyone give me advice as to how to aim my camera at a constellation (for instance)? (The only way I can see to do it myself is to mount the camera on my telescope and point that at what I want, then take the picture. But can't really do that if I haven't been able to bring my scope with me) (Camera is an old FinePix S602Zoom)
  16. Thanks guys. I've looked into it a bit now, and there seems no simple and secure way to attach the scope to the camera. At least I know what I'm limited by now! No doubt there's lot of people out there willing to suggest something suitable, but can anyone give me an idea of how much I should expect to spend on a camera to get a good image of the Orion Nebular or Andromeda or similar? Suggestions seem to be web-cams for planetary stuff, but is there any thing that can do both?
  17. Thanks for the response. Fair enough, there are a few mentions about swapping the lens on the camera online, but I'm not convinced either. And it's a 130P on a EQ mount (not motorised, but it can be if I get hold of a motor for about £60)
  18. I have (what I see as) the nice 130P Skywatcher 'scope, and I'm happy with what I've been able to see through the scope (though does need some collimation, but the decent collimation tools are a bit pricy from my first look). I'd like to do some imaging, and I've got access to a Fujifilm FinePix S602 camera. I'm not too hot on what the camera can do, as I don't do any real photography, but I'm curious if anyone has had a go with it on a basic scope like mine? (Current hope is to possibly get a decent shot of the Orion Nebula, but slightly dubious about my low-end kit...)
  19. A Skywatcher 130P (parabolic primary mirror, 130mm apature, 650mm focal length), came with two stock lenses (10mm and 25mm) and I bought a Blaader 2.25x Barlow as well (wanted to do some planetry observing and thought a barlow would be more versitile than a 5mm eyepiece)

  20. Ooo! That does sound good, I shall have to make a special effort to do that!
  21. Thanks, it was fantastic! I've even started a astronomy log book now! (Just need to remember not to use red pens when writing in it... Just happened to be the first pen I picked up) Thanks, Blaader was from FLO: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/baader-planetarium/baader-classic-q-225x-barlow.html (ordered it with the scope, but they managed to miss it off my delivery! Got it sorted a couple of days later though...)
  22. My telescope arrived on June the 4th, and the night's sky was clear! Only the other half decreed that I was busy, and so not able to give it a go... But eventually I was granted permission, and a clear night and I managed to see Saturn! After a bit of trouble with the red dot finder (I haven't found an easy way to calibrate it yet) I managed to see Saturn and its rings and at least two moons (I believe Titan and Rhea - thank you Stellarium!). Started with the 25mm lens (26x), and could see a yellow smudge with two "ears" (similar to what Gallilo described I believe?). Then I tried with the 10mm, which was harder to centre (due to the restriction of the FOV) but I found it again. Then barlowed up (2.25x Blaader) and I could see the rings, space between rings and planet and everything! But then I looked at the clock and remembered work the next day... The planet was a big of a yellow smudge, but I could clearly see rings and space between rings and the planet! (This was with a Skywatcher 130P on the EQ-2 mount, 650mm focal length with the stock eye pieces and a Bladder 2.25 barlow, in case anyone is interested).
  23. NakedEyePlanets.com is good! Stellarium is a good little program for finding planets etc: http://www.stellarium.org/ though admittedly it shows where things are now rather than where they will be over time...
  24. After a bit of other research it seems to me that the AutoTrak is very good for causal observing; nice simple set up and motorised enough that you don't have to worry about moving the scope manually. However as it isn't an EQ mount it can't really be used for photography (can't track the rotation of the Earth well enough due to the alt-az set up). The general consensus seems to be that going for a non-EQ mount makes life easier on set up, but removes any chance of photography. So my plan is currently to go for the 130P on the EQ mount and possibly buy a motor later on.
  25. I am currently looking at getting my first telescope, and I'm pretty sure that I've settled for this Skywatcher 130P (and then can add a motor later if and when). http://www.firstligh...lorer-130p.html However, this doesn't come with a barlow lens, so I shall be limited with magnifications, which might be an issue when observing the planets (apparently not so much when looking at deep space objects). As this scope has got "faster" optics (I believe) than then 130M (600mm instead of 900mm), what difference would I see when using it? I would like to be able to see some of the bands and moons of Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn, is there much of an issue seeing planets with this shorter focal length? (I've seen suggestions that a longer 'scope is better for planets, but I'm not sure why, and I can't see a website that can show me the real difference, only ones that give scientific explanations as to what it means)
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